Preventing Wound Infection in Your Dog

by Connie on December 22, 2011

Most people do not know how to go about caring for their wounded dog.  There are some simple steps you can take to easily prevent a wound in your dog from becoming infected.  These steps are only for small wounds and should only be used as first aid care.  Always be sure to take your dog in to see his regular veterinarian.

  1. Place a muzzle on your dog to protect yourself and others.  Injured dogs (even if they are not aggressive) will often times bite when you are handling them because they are in pain.  If your dog is not cooperative or too painful, you will have to seek professional veterinary help.
  2. Clip the affected are with shavers.  Removing the hair around the wound will reduce the amount of bacteria that is held by the hair.
  3. Once the wound is clipped you will need to wash the area with warm water and antibacterial soap.  Use clean gauze to carefully wash the wound.
  4. Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel or dry gauze.  Stick to 100% cotton materials so that the area is not irritated.  Drying the area is very important to prevent infection.  Bacteria can easily grow in moist and warm environments.
  5. Apply some Neosporin (or triple antibiotic) in the wound as well as around it.

It will be necessary for you to perform this task daily until the wound is completely healed.  If the area becomes dirty it may be necessary for you to clean it more than once a day.  Do not leave your dog outside; flies will lay eggs on the wound and maggots will develop.  If it is necessary to take your dog out you will need to place a light bandage on him.  One or three sterile gauzes lightly wrapped with bandage material should be sufficient.  Be sure to remove the bandage once your dog is indoors.

Remember to avoid placing gels or creams on your dogs’ wound before first consulting with your veterinarian.  Most creams and gels contain harmful substances that are potentially toxic to dogs.  Also, do not wrap your dogs’ wound with bandage material if it is not necessary.  Many people make the mistake of doing so.  A tight bandage will affect your dogs’ circulation, and it will also cause bacteria to grow because of the warm and moist environment.  If your dog has been placed on antibiotics, make sure you give them to your dog as directed by your veterinarian.  If you stop giving your dog the antibiotics, it is probable that the remaining bacteria will become resistant to the medication.  This will make the infection harder to treat.  One more thing to remember is to ask your veterinarian for pain medication.  Your dog will be more comfortable and be able to rest; this is essential for proper healing.

The most important part of preventing wound infection is acting fast.  Waiting to clean the wound will only give the bacteria and other germs time to take over your dogs’ body.  The sooner you wash the wound, the less likely it will be that it becomes infected.  Don’t be fooled by the way the wound looks; even if the wound seems insignificant it can turn into a big issue if left untreated.  In some cases, the wound will heal very quickly, while other times it can take a couple of weeks.  Consult your veterinarian if your dogs’ wound is not healing properly.  It is important to inspect the wound to make sure it is healing well.  Look for any; swelling, redness, pus, and warmth when touching the wound.  These are all indications that an infection is developing.  Your veterinarian may have to switch your dog to different or stronger antibiotics.  Preventing wound infection is very important to keeping your dog happy and healthy!

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